The European Physical Journal Applied Physics

Research Article

Synthesis and surface engineering of nanomaterials by atmospheric-pressure microplasmas

J. McKennaa1, J. Patela1, S. Mitraa1, N. Soina1, V. Švrčeka2, P. Maguirea1 and D. Mariottia1 c1

Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Research Institute (NAMRI), University of Ulster, Shore Road Newtownabbey, Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK

Research Center for Photovoltaic Technologies, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 2, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8568, Japan


Two different atmospheric pressure microplasma systems are discussed and used for the synthesis and surface engineering of a range of nanomaterials. Specifically a gas-phase approach from vaporized tetramethylsilane has been used to synthesize silicon carbide nanoparticles with diameters below 10 nm. A different microplasma system that interfaces with a liquid solution has then been used for the synthesis of surfactant-free electrically stabilized gold nanoparticles with varying size. A similar microplasma-liquid system has been finally successfully used to tailor surface properties of silicon nanoparticles and to reduce graphene oxide into graphene. The synthesis and surface engineering mechanisms are also discussed.

(Received April 29 2011)

(Revised August 08 2011)

(Accepted September 05 2011)

(Online publication October 28 2011)


c1 e-mail: